New APS Physics Comic Book to Debut at Comic-Con 2018

Spectra 10: Spectra’s Energetic Escape is the latest in the world’s only physics-focused STEM comic book series

COLLEGE PARK, MD, July 12, 2018 — A select few of the students at Tesla Junior High will win a chance to to see the brand new boy band, The Free Radicals. But first, Lucy Hene (alter ego to superhero-with-laser-powers Spectra) and her friends must triumph in a grueling 24 hour escape-room competition. Along the way, they’ll have to learn a lot about potential and kinetic energy, or fall prey to a catastrophe caused by the hapless tween magazine editor Nolan R. Gibbs (N.R.G.).

The tenth issue in the Spectra series of physics-inspired superhero comics will debut at the Comic-Con 2018 at a preview event on July 18. Spectra author, and Head of Public Outreach for the American Physical Society (APS), Rebecca C. Thompson and her crew will be in the APS booth at the year’s largest annual comic book convention with over one-and-a-half tons of comics to distribute to convention attendees.

“Spectra holds her own,” said Thompson. “There are plenty of fans of Iron Man, Rick and Morty, and Black Panther, but Spectra has her following too. We have people coming to our booth year after year to make sure they have the complete collection. And we have back issues on hand for the folks who will discover Spectra for the first time and want to get caught up.”

The Spectra comics each follow a storyline designed to compliment experiments in the Physics Quest educational kits distributed to middle school classrooms across the country. The kits and the comics compliment each other and provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn physics, but Thompson has found that many fans are fine with the comics on their own. “All the associated experiments are online, including lists of materials. Or, like a lot of kids and adults, you can enjoy Spectra’s adventures whether or not you do the experiments. Be careful though, you still might learn some physics.”

Comic-Con international 2018 is open to the public July 19-22 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Spectra comics will be available at booth #2102 while supplies last, or online through the APS website

Contact: James Riordon, APS,, 301-209-3238

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The American Physical Society is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents more than 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world.